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First time hand quilting - tips

First time hand quilting - tips

Old 04-29-2013, 09:51 AM
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Default First time hand quilting - tips

A dear friend gave me an old family quilt to keep. Someone in the family started hand-quilting, so I want to finish it the same way of course, which I've never done before.

She also gave me a beautiful, huge, wooden oval hoop, that looks very expensive, btw.

Just look for advice to tackle this challenge since it will be my first time hand-quilting.

Thanks for the tips and suggestions.

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Old 04-29-2013, 09:54 AM
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I took a class from a lady who taught a two-thimble method of quilting while using a hoop. I liked that method as it left me with in-tact fingers! I would like to take the class again now that I have time to actually do that sort of thing. Good luck in your endeavor. I think there is a Craftsy class on hand quilting. You might check it out.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:59 AM
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Go to youtube and look for Aunt Becky's method. I have seen it demo'd at quilt shows, and looks easy.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:37 AM
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I've seen the Aunt Becky method and taken the Craftsy class -- both very informative -- and watched everything I could find online. Now I just need to jump in and do it...which I still haven't done, but I'm closer than I was

There are a few hand quilting groups on Facebook you might like, too.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:00 AM
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I recently took a hand quilting class. I think the most important thing I learned was to keep the quilt very loose inside the hoop so that you can pinch the fabric as you bring the needle back up. Someone I know said they were told to make it as if a cat had sat on it inside the hoop. My instructor told us to push the fabric down onto the table inside the hoop before tightening the bolt. It's working very well for me. (Also I purchased vinyl "thimble-it's. They're self stick vinyl finger protectors for the underneath finger that feels the tip of the needle so you know when to push up with the needle. I re-use the same one quite a few times it stays sticky, and it offers enough protection to keep from getting holes in your underneath fingertip.)
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:18 AM
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If you've never done hand quilting, certainly look at some you tube videos. I can't speak about any of the classes mentioned above. I will second everything IQ2 says regarding looseness of the quilt in the hoop. It makes the 'rocking' part of hand quilting much easier.

Find a thimble that fits you well and has deep enough 'dimples' or ridge to hold your needle. I use Roxanne 'betweens' in usually a size 11 for my quilting. I find them sturdier than lots of other brands. You might want to start with a larger size (smaller number) to begin. I would also recommend a rubber finger tip (like used to be used for counting paper/money). They can be purchased from an office supply store if not elsewhere. Very useful in grabbing the needle.

Enjoy the process. It's not a race. Come back and ask any other questions you have.
Make yourself a test sandwich first. Just some muslin front/back (or scrap fabric) and any batting really just to get the feel/rhythm of the process. The goal is to have your stitches consistent - not perfect or tiny. And make sure you use a 'hand quilting' thread. The Americana brand at JoAnn's is nice and it's cheap - $1/spool! But there are plenty of other brands as well. I use whatever is available in the color I want.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:36 AM
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Martingale has a free page on ways to quilt your quilt, hand quilting is included
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:59 AM
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Good Morning everyone. Theses days I am confined to my arm chair and although I have lost my mojo for creating quilts, I would like to try my hand at hand quilting ( I have at least 12 quilts that need to be quilted)
My dilemma is that I can not spend the time standing, crawling around on the floor is out of the question to baste the quilts, can I baste in sections? Or what would you suggest that would be my best option?
Thank you
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:43 PM
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I never crawl on the floor to baste quilts. I use the table method I think might be from Harriet Hargroves book. I fold the back in half, then in half again and press the edge. Now I can locate the center of each side plus true middle. I stretch it wrong side up on a 6' x 3' table and anchor the edges with large gem clips. It helps to have two people to position the batting, folded in half & half, then positioned on a quarter of the back and unfolded precisely. Then the top with centers marked either with iron or safety pins. Now start pinning or thread basting, working from the center out. When the surface is pinned, the sandwich is moved so that the center point of either sides or top/bottom line up with the middle axis of the table. There has to be a tutorial on this that explains better than I do. I use masking tape to place a safety pin at the center of the table and the center of each side for guides.

Last edited by faykilgore; 04-29-2013 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 04-30-2013, 05:37 AM
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Do yourself a favor and invest the $20 or so on Diedre McElroy's DVD "That Perfect Stitch." She does an excellent job in not only showing you the stitch, but info on fabric, batting, needles, thimbles, hoops, frames -- everything you need to know to start hand quilting. You don't need her thimbles even though they are excellent. Just find a needle that has deep dimples so you can control the needle. Start with a #10 needle until you learn the stitch and then you can move up to an #11 or #12. I prefer a #12 Clover Gold Eye because that's what I'm comfortable with. I use Aunt Becky's finger underneath my quilt when quilting in a hoop, but find my finger works better when I'm quilting on my frame because I'm quilting in different directions and manipulating Aunt Becky's is difficult. There's also T.J.'s Quick Quilter that I recently purchased. Think I'm going to like it better than Aunt Becky's. You just have to find what's comfortable for you. After you learn the basic rocking stitch, you must practice, practice, practice. Don't worry about stitch size, just worry about even stitches. Diedre will explain that stitch sizes depend not only on the quilter, but the fabric, fabric direction, batting, and seams. Good luck on your project!
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